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Community Engagement: NHCOA’s Path to Lasting Solutions

September 1, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA- The importance of seniors exercising their right to vote, better access to local programs and services, and community engagement were the driving force of a solution-based discussion that brought together more than 100 participants in Los Angeles, California. The participants included congressional staffers, representatives from local agencies, advocates, Hispanic older adults and caregivers.

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The forum, which is a part of a series of Regional Conferences hosted by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), focused on the most pressing issues affecting the older adult population in Los Angeles. Among them, economic insecurity, high levels of poverty, lack of affordable housing and a great state of isolation were most prominent. NHCOA’s approach to solving these problems centers on civic engagement and community involvement.  President and CEO of NHCOA, Dr. Yanira Cruz highlighted the important role that community members play in finding lasting solutions to aging issues. “We know that each of you has strengths and that you know your communities and challenges better than anyone else. So, you also know how to address these challenges better than anyone else,” said Dr. Cruz during the event.

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Part of the discussion centered on how the upcoming election is crucial in elevating these needs on a national level. The aging population is growing in numbers and will have a large impact on the outcome in November. By 2019, the Latino population aged 65 and older is projected to be the largest ethnically diverse community in this age group in the U.S. “The implications of this demographic shift are huge for our community. Will we have a President and Congress who will work to ensure that housing and nutrition are available for seniors? Will we have policies in place that allow seniors to age in dignity and with economic security?” said Dr. Cruz.

As part of NHCOA’s commitment to improving the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers, the information gathered during all Regional Conferences is included in the State of Hispanic Older Adults report which is presented on Capitol Hill each fall and distributed nationwide. To read our 2015 report click here.

The 2016 Los Angeles Open Forum is underwritten by Abbott, Abbvie, Aetna Foundation, AARP, AstraZeneca, Herbalife, Lilly, L’Oréal, Pfizer, PhRMA, Univision, and Verizon.

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